Three years of drought and decades of conflict have pushed millions of people to the edge of survival. Grass that sustained livestock is gone, replaced by hard patches of cracked land. Homes have bullet marks; bridges are broken.

Many families have abandoned their land, risking a journey to Kabul and other cities, where they exist on very little. As the Afghan Red Crescent undertakes a massive humanitarian operation to reduce hardship, three women share their past, present and hopes for the future.

Education, interrupted

It is easy to forget that Madina Mohamed, a straight A student, is just 17. She exudes confidence and her voice is certain.

Leaving love and protection for hunger in Kabul

Khumari Aimaq, 18, is wistful when she remembers her early life in Charmgar village in Afghanistan’s Baghlan province.

“Drought has finished all our livestock – now it is killing people”

Shamsia Atayee, 35, is five months pregnant but hardly shows it. When she’s congratulated on her pregnancy, she forces a polite smile and says ‘’Thank you’’ in a low tone.